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Technological Constructions of Reality: An Ontological Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY have their constructs of reality affected by hypermedia usage due to their extensive interaction with the technology. Moderate users are less affected and low users are least affected. Conclusion In a society that is growing ever dependent on new media and Internet usage it is important for the mass communication field to examine the repercussions and effects of this dependency. This paper seeks to make that initial step in addressing gaps in current literature that will be applicable across fields and contribute to a growing body of knowledge. Through the existence of new media and hypermedia technologies, consumers perceive reality itself to be high-speed, instantaneous and boundless; in studying how this perception affects highly- dependent technology users a theory can be built that will pertain not only to the mass communication field but other fields that address media and technology usage as well. Some current limitations include applicability across cultural/social norms, the affect of the digital divide, and the potential for an effect of simulacrum (Baudrillard, 2001). Although some research has examined the impact of technology and cultural/social norms (Pedersen, 2008, Lu, 2008), more research is needed to determine if the availability and pervasiveness of new technology impacts established cultural norms and how younger generations adopt new technology in various cultural contexts. Socioeconomic status and the digital divide also impact how much technology could affect an individual’s ontological construction. The digital divide has been described as the division of technological access due to socioeconomic status (Norris, 2001; Howard et al., 2010), but can also exist due to geographic location and inaccessibility due to technological scarcity. For example, no to low access individuals will not be as affected as moderate to heavy users but will still be impacted by consumer desires to engage in media in capitalist societies. A third limitation is the argument of simulacrum. According to Baudrillard, 23

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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have their constructs of reality affected by hypermedia usage due to their extensive interaction 
with the technology.  Moderate users are less affected and low users are least affected.
In a society that is growing ever dependent on new media and Internet usage it is 
important for the mass communication field to examine the repercussions and effects of this 
dependency.  This paper seeks to make that initial step in addressing gaps in current literature 
that will be applicable across fields and contribute to a growing body of knowledge.  Through 
the existence of new media and hypermedia technologies, consumers perceive reality itself to be 
high-speed, instantaneous and boundless; in studying how this perception affects highly-
dependent technology users a theory can be built that will pertain not only to the mass 
communication field but other fields that address media and technology usage as well.  
Some current limitations include applicability across cultural/social norms, the affect of 
the digital divide, and the potential for an effect of simulacrum (Baudrillard, 2001).  Although 
some research has examined the impact of technology and cultural/social norms (Pedersen, 2008, 
Lu, 2008), more research is needed to determine if the availability and pervasiveness of new 
technology impacts established cultural norms and how younger generations adopt new 
technology in various cultural contexts.  Socioeconomic status and the digital divide also impact 
how much technology could affect an individual’s ontological construction.  The digital divide 
has been described as the division of technological access due to socioeconomic status (Norris, 
2001; Howard et al., 2010), but can also exist due to geographic location and inaccessibility due 
to technological scarcity.  For example, no to low access individuals will not be as affected as 
moderate to heavy users but will still be impacted by consumer desires to engage in media in 
capitalist societies.  A third limitation is the argument of simulacrum.  According to Baudrillard, 

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